UU Santa Monica at Camp de Benneville Pines
Friday–Sunday, September 16–18, 2022
By Karl Lisovsky and Judith Martin Straw
We were fortunate. The Radford Fire, which had been raging nearby, had been brought under control in time for UUSM Camp to begin. Mudflows from the monsoonal rainfall brought by Tropical Storm Kay early in the week were cleared from the Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks. Some feared that there would be lingering smoke, but the weather was truly lovely and the air was clear, offering blue skies and gentle breezes. After the heat wave that So Cal had just experienced, the 40s overnight temperatures were a welcome change. In the evenings, Karlton put up a fire in the hearth.
There were more than 50 of us and the fun never stopped. The meals were plentiful and delicious, which the Camp staff served graciously, observing COVID protocols. Judith offered yoga in the Coffee House, Amy, Lois, and others did hours of tie dying. There was meditation on the pavilion, wine tasting on the deck, and poker after supper, led by Larry.
Also, Larry led a UU The Vote team in getting out another 100 postcards!
The three teens shared Cabin 2, the PSWRL library. More children were present than have been in recent years. The kids really stole the audience’s heart with their “We can answer any question” routine in the Talent Show.
After the show, and during poker, Jan Ginsberg sang and played guitar, with many folks participating, including Kim on ukulele.
On Sunday morning in the outdoor amphitheater, Amy Brunell led an illuminating and heartwarming service in the UU spirit, featuring a “web of words” created by the group and which hung in our midst, connecting the group and leaving a memory of our time together.
We left rejuvenated and contented, fortunate to have such a remarkable place to visit. Some left planning to return for Thanksgiving Weekend, others, for Music in the Mountains.
We are grateful to our Dean, Amy Brunell, for pulling it all together, as well as the rest of the UUSM de Benneville Committee who were there: Karl, Joyce, Greg, Judith, Linda, and Larry.
Camp de Benneville Pines has been through a lot in the past few years, with pandemic closures, fires, and flash floods, and your support is both needed and appreciated. There are plenty of ways to support our camp, either by sending funds or spending time at a work weekend. But give thanks anytime for Camp de Benneville Pines. We are very, very lucky.
Photos from de Benneville Pines Camp Weekend by Roy Patience and others.
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